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by Peter Knegt
February 10, 2014 1:29 PM
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2014 Oscar Predictions: Best Original Screenplay

Indiewire will provide regular updates of our predictions for the 86th Academy Awards through March 2nd, when the winners are announced.

There was a time when Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell's script seemed like the surest win for "American Hustle," finally giving Russell his first Oscar. But then it unexpectedly lost to Spike Jonze's script for "Her" at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice and WGA.  Which would seem to suggest that it's actually Jonze -- who has also never won an Oscar -- who is the frontrunner here. But "American Hustle" has considerably more momentum than "Her," and the Oscar voters will want to reward it somewhere (though there is a genuine chance that it ends up going home completely empty-handed despite 10 nominations). This all makes for a full-on nail biter, interestingly pitting Jonze and against the man who directed him in "Three Kings."  Or perhaps they'll split the vote, allowing Bob Nelson to sneak in for "Nebraska"?

Nominees and predictions below. Check out all predictions in all the categories here.

The nominees:
“American Hustle” Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
“Blue Jasmine” Written by Woody Allen
“Dallas Buyers Club” Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
“Her” Written by Spike Jonze
“Nebraska” Written by Bob Nelson

Will win: “Her” Written by Spike Jonze
Could win: “American Hustle” Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
Should win: “Her” Written by Spike Jonze
Shoulda been here: "Inside Llewyn Davis" Written by Joel & Ethan Coen

Check out all predictions in all the categories here.

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  • jeffrey | February 24, 2014 9:53 PMReply

    Dallas Buyers Club all the way. Craig Borten's plight to get this to the screen, is a damn movie in itself.

  • REB | February 28, 2014 10:56 AM

    Rooting for Craig

  • Edward J. Cunningham | February 22, 2014 2:40 PMReply

    It didn't get a nomination, but the screenplay for "Gravity" by Alfonso and Jonás Cuarón is a big reason for that film's success. The only nominee is this category I've seen so far is "Her" by Spike Jonze, and I will be very happy if he wins.

  • Edward J. Cunningham | February 22, 2014 2:42 PM

    For Pete's sake. Yes, this is an English language forum, but we should be able to spell the names of screenwriters correctly even if they have accents. How are you supposed to do that here?

  • Joe H. | February 18, 2014 2:34 PMReply

    I will be shocked if Her doesn't win. It has all the momentum.

  • Edward J. Cunningham | February 22, 2014 2:43 PM

    This is a test. Alfonso CuarAlt+0243n.

  • Klamentyne | February 8, 2014 4:20 AMReply

    I absolutely disagree on the "will win" pick. "Her" could, should & WOULD win this one!

  • Ivan | January 29, 2014 3:57 AMReply

    Her should win, but I think that this will be year of American Hustle. Academy could easily go on some kind of spectacular statistical records and decide to give all possible awards to one movie. 11 years passed since Lord of the rings which won more then 10 oscars and academy doesn't always reward best movies/actors/screenplays.

  • juan | January 21, 2014 8:34 PMReply

    Her should take it. What a quotable script. Loved it.

  • Kansas | January 11, 2014 5:16 PMReply

    What a difficult year for this category! So many well written and original screenplays. American Hustle is pretty much a lock (and should be) & Her has great chances too. No nominations here for Gravity & Nebraska would be a big surprise but out of the two Gravity probably has more of a chance to get snubbed, but not by much. I could see the final spot come down to The Coen Brothers or Woody Allen, both great writers who have gotten writing noms and wins in the past. It would be cool to see The World's End and/or Enough Said grab a spot though.

  • Dylan | January 11, 2014 2:57 PMReply

    My Nominations (Best Original Screenplay):
    David O. Russell and Eric Singer - AMERICAN HUSTLE
    Joel & Ethan Coen - INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
    Spike Jonze - HER
    Woody Allen - BLUE JASMINE
    Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg - THE WORLD'S END

  • Anthony D. | January 9, 2014 11:40 PMReply

    Indiewire's five picks are on point. I say American Hustle wins this, if only because the Academy wants to give Russell an award for something. Wouldn't be surprised if Nebraska or Her won it instead, though.

  • Brett | January 1, 2014 8:10 PMReply

    What if the Academy decided to add This is the End to this category like they did with Bridesmaids? Because it is pretty original

  • BOO | December 27, 2013 10:27 AMReply

    As much as I don't want American Hustle to win this category, it probably will. I want it to be Her, which I would consider runner up.

  • Bard | December 19, 2013 7:08 AMReply

    I think the Cohen brothers got this for Inside Llewyn Davis. Other nominees would be Bob Nelson for Nebraska, Spike Jonze for Her, David O. Russel & Eric Singer for American Hustle and the Cuarons for Gravity

  • Anon | December 18, 2013 10:34 AMReply

    In relation to who may win (possibly a two way battle between 'American Hustle' and 'Her'), I think it boils down to this. 'American Hustle' has the more aspects that would appeal to AMPAS (as well as the fact that Russell has yet to win an Oscar) but there is the possibility that AMPAS may get a 'been there done that' vibe (given that, this year, they gave a screenwriting prize to 'Argo' (which is in a very similar vein to AH)). On the other hand, 'Her' has been collecting the majority of the critics prizes in this category, but critics don't vote for the Oscars and there is the possibility that, while younger members of AMPAS will embrace it, the older ones might not be too inclined towards it.

  • BOO | December 16, 2013 10:42 PMReply

    I think American Hustle or Her will win this.

  • Niles | December 13, 2013 4:30 AMReply

    Coogler will take the last slot.

  • Brett | December 5, 2013 4:56 PMReply

    1. Woody Allen for Blue Jasmine
    2. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for Inside Llewyn Davis
    3. Danny Strong for The Butler
    4. David O. Russell and Eric Singer for American Hustle
    5. Jeff Nichols for Mud
    6. Alfonso Cuaron and Jonas Cuaron for Gravity
    7. Asghar Farhadi for The Past
    8. Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith for Saving Mr. Banks
    9. Aaron Guzikowski for Prisoners
    10. Ryan Coogler for Fruitvale Station
    11. JC Chandor for All is Lost
    12. Spike Jonze for Her

  • greg w locke | December 2, 2013 5:26 AMReply


  • Jack Cox | November 26, 2013 9:36 PMReply

    Those should be the final 5, this Oscar doesn't have a front runner in fact if those are the final 5 well I have to say this might be the most stacked category we've had in an Oscar year, it's terrific. If I had to say right now I think Nebraska is the front runner but that's until American Hustle comes out.

  • Brett | November 20, 2013 4:35 PMReply

    I think the winner will be somewhere between Woody Allen and The Coens and 3 of them (I'm not quite sure how to say "both" when you have a duo director team competing against one) have 4 Oscars it would be nice to see one of them (or two of them or--damn it I can't talk right!!) have 5 on their shelves

  • BOO | November 18, 2013 8:30 PMReply

    I honestly think this list might be better if you turned the top 5 upside down. Her I wouldn't even call a lock for a nomination. I'd be very happy if it were nominated and it's certainly possible but it's a tough category. American Hustle looks to be the frontrunner the way I see it but it IS unseen.

  • Mirko | November 17, 2013 1:49 PMReply

    I hope Saving Mr Banks.

  • Josh | November 11, 2013 6:02 AMReply

    I really hope Mud gets a nod SOMEWHERE and here is probably its best bet. For me it's one of the best movies I've seen all year.

  • Edward | November 4, 2013 3:39 AMReply

    I'm very shocked to see that nobody's mentioning Wolf of Wall Street for some reason...

  • Kevin | November 4, 2013 7:29 PM

    Probably because it's an adaptation, ya goof.

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  • Brian | October 29, 2013 5:32 PMReply

    Uhhh, seriously? No "Before Midnight"?! Should be a "lock"

  • Greg Mitchell | October 30, 2013 2:37 AM

    Here's Slant Mag's explanation of why it's b/adapted (and I agree with the "nutso" adjective)

    "If the word "adapted" is tripping you up, the CliffsNotes explanation is that the Academy's nutso rules decree that established franchises, whose subsequent installments have such credits as "based on characters created by Richard Linklater and Kim Krizan," become ineligible for Original Screenplay honors"

  • Greg Mitchell | October 30, 2013 2:33 AM

    oh okay, confused but I now see B Midnight is showing up in Best Adapted SP.....though I don't exactly get the reasoning.....that'd be a bit like saying Saving Mr. Banks is based on Mary Poppins, wouldn't it?

  • Greg Mitchell | October 30, 2013 2:30 AM

    completely and totally agree!

  • Laut | October 27, 2013 1:33 PMReply

    Spike Jonze, Her
    David O. Russell and Eric Singer, American Hustle
    Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
    Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith, Saving Mr. Banks
    Joel & Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis

  • SEBASTIAN | October 26, 2013 9:19 PMReply


  • BOO | October 25, 2013 10:24 PMReply

    You kidding me? Inside Llewyn Davis CERTAINLY. I also think Gravity will get in. I know it's visual based but people thought the same of Life of Pi and that got in. And wow, Her winning? It won't happen but would be pretty cool.

  • Oscarfan | October 22, 2013 10:01 AMReply

    If Last Vegas is fairly received, what if the Academy surprises us and gives it an Original Screenplay nod like they did with Bridesmaids?

  • Brett | October 15, 2013 5:12 PMReply

    The Butler is BASED on a true STORY so...it's not original

  • Ryan | December 12, 2013 4:20 PM

    Same with Fruitvale Station.

  • Jason | October 16, 2013 7:40 PM

    Adapted means that it's based on a book or that it's a sequel. Original means thy the screenwriter didn't use other material to write the screenplay. king's speech won best original screenplay even though it's based on real events. So...you're wrong.

  • El-ninio | October 13, 2013 2:53 PMReply

    Put "Le Passe's" geneius screenplay in your top ten. I think it will be one of five nominees

  • Keil S. | October 5, 2013 10:30 PMReply

    Why are you helping perpetuate the unwarranted dismissal of Before Midnight? Pundits aren't even bothering to mention it anymore, despite its greatness. You should do your part to help keep it in the conversation.

  • Darkness69 | September 27, 2013 6:00 AMReply

    I stand corrected - it's in the adapted screenplay category!

  • Darkness69 | September 27, 2013 5:58 AMReply

    You obviously didn't see "Before Midnight"... And you're calling yourself "indiewire"...

  • Brett | September 18, 2013 5:31 PMReply

    If the Academy decided to nominate 12 (Because 12 Years a Slave) my picks would be:
    1. American Hustle
    2. Saving Mr. Banks
    3. Inside Llewyn Davis
    4. Gravity
    5. Blue Jasmine
    6.All is Lost
    7. Nebraska
    8. Out of the Furnace
    9. The Counsellor
    10. Prisoners
    11. Rush
    12. Fruitvale Station

  • Giamboni | September 14, 2013 4:11 PMReply

    Saving Mr Banks as an interesting story snd screenplay. I add: beautiful original score.

  • Joe H | September 7, 2013 7:01 PMReply

    American Hustle and Blue Jasmine are probably locks at this point, or at least very strong contenders. Don't rule out Rush though, I think it's going to be a big contestant for several Oscars. Despite the Da Vinci Code, Howard is somewhat of an Oscar darling, and early reviews of Rush are fairly glowing.

  • applause | September 2, 2013 9:10 AMReply

    Aaron Guzikowski's script (PRISONERS) was recognized as the # 4-rated script in the 2009 Black List ( best unproduced scripts), behind Social Network which was ranked at # 2 and ahead of The King's Speech which ranked in the mid-50's. It seems it has translated into a powerful and impressive movie. Hope it is among the nominees in this coming Oscar awards season!

  • Mexicano | September 2, 2013 3:24 AMReply

    1. Blue Jasmine
    2. Nebraska
    3. Gravity
    4. Inside Lewyn Davis
    5. Le Passe
    6. The Place Beyond the Pines
    7. Rush

  • Josh Mitchell | September 1, 2013 2:50 PMReply

    Watch the trailer to my new short film "The Corruption of Kidiya Kitts" - http://vimeo.com/picknroll/kidiyakitts

  • - | September 1, 2013 11:23 AMReply

    Maybe this is just because I'm a huge fan of Mad Men, but I think there's a slim possibility that Weiner's screenplay for 'You are Here' could get nominated. The guy's got an obscene number of Emmys and his show was the only current one in the top 10 of that WGA list a few months ago. Then again, from what I've heard about it, it doesn't seem like something they'd usually go for.

  • Mirko | August 27, 2013 11:18 AMReply

    My predictions:

    Blue Jasmine.
    Frances Ha.
    Inside Llewis Davis.
    Saving Mr Banks.

  • VM | August 20, 2013 8:28 PMReply

    Nothing original about Blue Jasmine.

  • BOO | August 20, 2013 8:20 PMReply

    Saving Mr. Banks is a Disney family flick and it's not going to be nominated in this category.

  • Mirko | September 2, 2013 7:36 AM

    Saving Mr Banks is not only for Children and Family. It's an movie for everyone, in the same way of Mary Poppins. This film can to have the nomination Original Screenplay: It's a question of Walt Disney and P. L. Travers, not of Micki Mouse and Minnie. Besides, there is twoo actors of talent: Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks.

  • MATT | August 29, 2013 3:47 AM

    That just sounds like no matter what the film, if it's made by Disney it can't rise to the occasion. It's definitely not going to be strictly a family flick. The movie is PG-13.

  • Daniel Delago | August 6, 2013 6:11 AMReply

    'Fruitvale Station' definitely needs to be recognized by the Academy but not for the screenplay. Totally agree with Joeblo's comment below. It should get accolades for the acting and directing.

    I'd like to add 'The Immigrant' starring Marion Cotillard to the mix. She got jipped last year with her brilliant performance in 'Rust and Bone.'

    As far as 'The Place Beyond The Pines..." it is the most disappointing film of the year. Once Ryan Gosling exits the story, it unravels into cheap melodramatic garbage. The third act killed it for me.

  • joeblo | August 5, 2013 7:36 PMReply

    I understand why Fruitvale would be up for acting and maybe even directing awards, but that script was HORRIBLY heavy handed.

  • BOO | July 31, 2013 9:34 AMReply

    Take Saving Mr.Banks off and the list is pretty sharp.

  • Paul | July 29, 2013 12:17 AMReply

    Before midnight!!!!!!

  • Darkness69 | September 27, 2013 5:59 AM

    Hell yes!

  • Bob | July 26, 2013 12:00 AMReply

    Seems the writer of these thinks Saving Mr. Banks is a huge contender. The only category I see it being a real threat in is Best Actress. Maybe Best Supporting Actor as well if Hanks doesnt get nominated for Captain Philips(Best Actor) instead.

  • BOO | July 24, 2013 5:15 PMReply

    Fruitvale Station = LOCK
    Blue Jasmine is pretty likely
    Saving Mr. Banks = NO. It will not be the contender you expect.

  • ThisGuy | July 22, 2013 7:43 PMReply

    Inside Llewyn Davis was adapted from the Mayor of McDougal Street. Or is it so loosely that people are considering it an original screenplay?

  • BOO | July 8, 2013 7:04 AMReply

    I'd say
    American Hustle
    Inside Llewyn Davis
    Fruitvale Station

  • Mirko | July 4, 2013 3:45 PMReply

    I'm to agree for screenplay of Saving mr Banks, interesting.

  • Before Oscars | July 3, 2013 5:48 PMReply

    No love for Linklater, Delpy and Hawke for Before Midnight?

  • Before Mistake | July 3, 2013 6:01 PM

    I guess it would be Best Adapted Screenplay, my mistake.